OrangePi Zero - Boot from SD - then remove it.

Hello there! Its nice to meet everyone and thank you so much for having me!

I have this great project i’m working on involving 30 orange pi zeros. You see SD cards are expensive when you need to buy 30 of them so I have been trying for about a month now to make armbian work without the SD card.

The idea is to boot into the os get a few things running and then remove the card and boot another pi.

I have tried creating a ramfs mount and copying/mounting (what I believe are) all the requirements and then using chroot. But that doesnt work at all. I’m imagining that outside of chroot services are still running and once they cant write to some file they decide to kill this system.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to achieve this “boot up and remove sd” card functionality?